Jedd Fisch says Arizona's bye week goal is simple: 'Get better'
Arizona’s bye week goal is simple.
Jedd Fisch says the Wildcats have to get better.
“That is the No. 1 goal. Get better in every phase,” the Arizona head coach told reporters on Monday. “Last year we were 0-7. This year, (in) Week 7 we’re 3-4. Our goal right now is to see can we get better in every phase?”
The bye week comes at a good time for Arizona. Fisch expects all of the injured Wildcats — with the exception of Rayshon “Speedy” Luke — to be available against USC on Oct. 29. The off week gives the UA some time to get healthier.
Beyond that, it gives the coaching staff a chance to rest, particularly on defense. Arizona has lost back-to-back games and the defense is reeling in a major way. In three of its four Pac-12 games so far, Arizona has given up 49 points.
In Pac-12 play, the Wildcats have been outscored 63-23 in the third quarter. The Cats have only won one third quarter all year — a 10-7 frame against Colorado. In total, they’ve been outscored by 51 in the third.
“I think we’re just giving up too many touchdowns period,” Fisch said when asked about that fact. “I think that’s what it comes down to, that we need to continue to get better in that regard. I don’t see it more as a halftime adjustment.
“In the Oregon game, they were pretty good the whole game. I think in the Cal game it was 24-21 at halftime and then they kept scoring, but we never really stopped them from scoring in the first half either.”
And that’s the problem. Arizona’s been poor in the third, but Arizona’s been poor throughout. Arizona is giving up 36.3 points a game this season. That’s the 11th-worst mark in the country.
“We’re going to do everything we can to become a much better defensive football team,” Fisch said.
Fisch will be at four high school games on Thursday and Friday this week. In total, the coaching staff plans to hit 28 games between Hawaii, Arizona, California, and Texas.
“Reception’s been great. But the messaging… The way it looks for us is pretty simple. Last year we were trying to figure out exactly what we were gonna be. This year, we’re pretty confident that we’re gonna be a really good offensive football team,” Fisch said. “If you’re a defensive player, you have an opportunity to come in here and compete to start right away. We have a lot of veteran players on the defensive side, so you have an opportunity in that regard to make kind of the same impact that our offensive guys made this past offseason.”